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How To File A Lawsuit In California

How To File A Lawsuit In California

How To File A Lawsuit In California

The high cost of hiring an attorney makes legal representation out of reach for most people.  However, it is possible to file a lawsuit without a lawyer.

In California, the 5 basic steps of filing a lawsuit include:

  1. Filing a civil complaint.  A complaint is the initiating document that lays out a plaintiff's claims.  It informs the defendant and the court how the plaintiff has been wronged by the defendant and how the plaintiff should be compensated.  Note that a plaintiff must allege a claim that is recognized under California law (such as negligence, discrimination, defamation, or wrongful termination) and must properly allege the elements of each claim.

  2. Serving the summons and complaint.  Once the complaint is written and filed at the courthouse, it needs to be served on the defendant with a copy of a summons.

  3. Filing an Answer.  Once served, the defendant will have 30 days to file an answer, where they admit or deny the claims made against them and file any valid counterclaims they may have against the plaintiff.

  4. Discovery.  After a complaint and answer have been filed, both parties engage in discovery, wherein they are legally obligated to provide all relevant evidence to the other party.  This process begins by sending and responding to Requests For Production of Documents.  After that, depositions of potential witnesses (including both parties) may be conducted.

  5. Trial.  After discovery is completed, the case will go to trial, where each party can plead their case to a judge or jury.  They will also examine witnesses and submit evidence.

Our California Civil Lawsuit Guide will help you to file a lawsuit against someone in California Superior Court.  It includes easy to use forms, samples and instructions that will show you how to:

  • File and serve your complaint,
  • Send and respond to requests for production,
  • Introduce exhibits, offer objections, and interview witnesses at a hearing or trial. 

All without an attorney.  Our California guide is currently 33% off for a limited time. 

Start your lawsuit today!